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Let's Go, Baby-o! by Janet McLean and Andrew McLean

Hey! Baby has woken up in his cot and wants to play. Luckily his singing, dancing, jiggling and bouncing older cousin is there to spring him free and start the fun. They leap and chant and jump and sing. Meanwhile, in the garden, the rest of the family, the pets and the wildlife are having some drama of their own. Baby and his dancing cousin pause to look out the window. Their observations inspire them to move and sing again.

Let's Go, Baby-o! by Janet McLean and Andrew McLean

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lorraine McDonald
Reviewed by Lorraine McDonald
Summary: ‘Let’s Go Baby-o!’ fizzes with energy. Dance, chant, observe and, most of all have fun! This is a unique, entertaining, and educational book sure to enhance communication between parents and very young children.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: April 2014
Publisher: Allen and Unwin Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781743361313

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Let’s Go, Baby-o! is quite unlike any other baby or toddler book I’ve come across before. That’s saying something as the local librarian has used a lot of ink stamping my baby-o’s Sure Start reading passport. There’s a bit of everything in here. There’s rhythm and rhyme. There’s movement and drama. There are striking illustrations and an opportunity to practice counting. Let’s Go Baby-o! is a book of multiple dimensions. The repetition of alternating window gazing and wild dancing, is a comforting anchor point but outside the scene is changing, a mild drama unfolds. How will this inspire movement and rhyme? How will baby and cousin dance together? Look right there! Is that another toy of baby’s sneaking in to peep out too? Let’s count them and name them and watch them dance. There’s an educational message for mum or dad too. Every house has a window. Every parent can find a rhyme. Every baby wants to communicate and learn about their world. Let’s Go Baby-o! is not an end in itself, it’s intended to enrich parent-child interaction, so the reader can begin their own rhyming, rhythmic journey.

There are some accurate, and touching, observations to be found between the boards of this book. I’ve stood at the window many times with a tired, or grumpy, or simply nosey son, tucked in my arm or perched on the ledge. Just like the illustration, he is intrigued by what is going on outside. Scenes more mundane than the one unfolding in Let’s Go Baby-o! fascinate him. Baby-o cuts a slight and vulnerable figure to me as he crouches looking outside, clutching his cuddly toy and trying to make sense of the world. No time to be maudlin though – cousin has another dance and rhyme to lead - to the flip, to the flop to the hop-hop-hop.

The illustrations in this book are detailed when depicting the scene outside and simple when Baby-o and cousin dance. That simplicity is deceptive as, though there is no background, the drawings capture movement brilliantly. There’s a convincing fluidity in the lines of these pen and ink pictures. My favourite accompanies the rhyme to the flap-flap-flap where cousin is shown leg raised, arm in the air. This is no static image, the momentum bursts off the page.

So, if you’ve got a small baby and bags full of energy to spare, then Let’s Go Baby-o! is one for you. This book fizzes with the vigour of a bath bomb meeting water but also contrats that with pace and control. Beware; there are some ‘ear worms’ in here – you’ll be chanting the lines with or without your baby-o, and for long after he is a teenager.

If you have some energy to spare after all that, you could do worse than try Noisy Poems by Debi Gliori.

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Buy Let's Go, Baby-o! by Janet McLean and Andrew McLean at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Let's Go, Baby-o! by Janet McLean and Andrew McLean at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Let's Go, Baby-o! by Janet McLean and Andrew McLean at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Let's Go, Baby-o! by Janet McLean and Andrew McLean at


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